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A swimming success: Aquarium hosts after-hours bash

Party pod: A school of young revelers enjoys the dance floor.
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The penguins may have been overdressed.

New York Aquarium fans got to see what the city’s finest fish bowl is like after hours during a party the aquatic museum hosted on Aug. 15 in Coney Island.

The party celebrated the 80th anniversary of explorers William Beebe and Otis Barton descending more than 3,000 feet into the briny deep — nearly six times deeper than and human had ever gone before — to observe undersea life from a “Bathysphere” — an unpowered submarine that looks like a metal bubble with windows.

One visitor said the undersea soiree was such a hit that people were packed in like sardines.

“It’s a shame they don’t do this every month,” said Pierre Roldan. “It was a big crowd, and the place was packed.”

The aquarium also opened a new exhibit called “Drawn from the Depths” — an art gallery with reproductions of drawings Beebe and Barton made on their underwater excursions in 1934.

For many undersea soiree-goers, the aquarium’s residents were still the biggest attraction, but one inhabitant wasn’t feeling like a party animal, attendees said.

“There was a seal there, and I don’t know whether he was sleepy, cranky, or sick — he just sat there,” Roldan said. “He was just really pressed into the corner.”

Another reveler said the party-pooper pinniped’s petulant appearance dominates her memory of the evening.

“That’s the main thing I remember — this seal sitting in the corner,” said Erica Gratton.

This paper reached out to the aquarium to see how the seals are feeling, but a spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But the mopey mammal’s seal of disapproval didn’t burst party-goers bubbles.

“Overall it was a lot of fun,” Gratton said.

Posted 12:00 am, August 20, 2014
Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.
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